A young Ukrainian man has managed to successfully avoid compulsory military service by staying married to a woman 57 years his senior for almost two years. Despite widespread criticism online, the man has the law on his side.
In late 2017, Alexander Kondratyuk, a young man from the Ukrainian city of Vinnitsa, received his conscription papers.
He was to report to the nearest military commissariat for enlistment in his country’s one year military service. All able-bodied Ukrainian men aged between 18 and 26 are required to undergo military service, with one exception. If such a man were responsible for looking after a disabled wife, he would be exempted from service.
So Alexander somehow convinced his cousin’s 81-year-old disabled grandmother to become his bride, and the couple has been married for almost two years.
According to Oddity Central, Kondratyuk is 24, so after two more years he will become too old to undergo military service and probably divorce his octogenarian wife.
Aleksandr Danilyuk, the director of the commissariat in charge of conscription in the Vinnitsa region, told reporters that Kondratyuk has the right to have his draft papers deferred, because he is the guardian of a registered disabled person, his wife. And since a valid marriage certificate as well as a document proving Kondratyuk’s residence at his wife’s home had been produced, there was nothing the military could do.
24-year-old Kondratyuk continues to deny that he only married 81-year-old Zinaida to avoid military service, and insists that he has strong feelings for her. His octogenarian wife also told reporters that Alexander is a good husband who looks after her. The woman’s neighbours, on the other hand, told a local TV station that the marriage was a total sham.
Zinaida Illarionovna is more likely to be visited by her nephews and grandchildren than by her young husband, according to her neighbours, and the only proof of their marriage is the certificate that Kondratyuk always shows the draft board when they come in the area to enlist new recruits.
Despite the controversial nature of the union, the Ukrainian commissariat has confirmed that it has no interest in pursuing the issue any further. Kondratyuk is currently married to a disabled person, and unless something happens before he turns 27, he is exempt from military service.